3/12/2006Lawrenceville, Georgia Taxes with Tickets
Lawrenceville, Georgia makes almost twice as much money from tickets as property taxes.
Traffic tickets account for more of Lawrenceville, Georgia's annual revenue than property taxes. The Gwinnett County city of more than 26,000 residents has used police power to enrich city coffers in this way since at least 2000.
The Atlanta-Journal Constitution and Gwinett News examined budget documents and found the city raised $3,826,462 from the court system -- which includes traffic citations -- compared to $2,062,494 in property tax receipts. This ticket revenue is greater than that generated by the county's five other cities of Duluth, Lilburn, Norcross, Snellville and Suwanee combined.
Lawrenceville Mayor Pro Tem David Rodriguez denied allegations that the city is a speed trap, telling the AJC, "It's not like we tell the chief, 'We need more money, go out and write more tickets.'"
The National Motorists Association disagrees, listing the city in its national Speed Trap Registry. One victim describes the police tactic of using a poorly marked school zone on Highway 29 to trap motorists as much as an hour after all the children have left for the day. Others describe police hiding at the bottom of hills to capture motorists who may have strayed slightly over the limit.